No sane person will claim that Trump got a good deal by promising amnesty for the DACA people, and perhaps more via their families who can and will be brought in, without getting a single concession from Democrat leaders on the issue of immigration -- deporting millions of non-DACA illegals, building the wall, lowering legal immigration, harsh penalties against employers hiring illegals, or de-funding sanctuary cities (Sessions proposes to only take away one-half of 1%).
Obviously, if that's the extent of the deal, then Trump got schlonged big-league.
However, most commentary has not discussed the big news that the other, opening topic at the dinner with Chuck and Nancy -- and excluding Ryan and McConnell -- was trade and China policy. Economic nationalist Commerce Secretary Ross was sitting in on the talk, albeit with Wall Street chaperon Globalist Gary Cohn.
And unlike their blanket dismissal of helping the Republican-controlled White House cut taxes for the rich ("tax reform"), the Democrat leaders did not flat out reject whatever Trump proposed they help him with regarding trade and re-industrialization.
Why would they? Their party has a far better record than the GOP, who seek a return to a pre-industrial agricultural economy where the people are peasants and servants. Schumer has voted against most of the anti-factory / pro-mega-farm trade deals, and Pelosi may have voted against some of them too. On the big one, NAFTA, Schumer voted against, but Pelosi voted in favor. Majorities of Democrats in both houses at the time voted against.
Bringing back manufacturing would mean millions of new voters for Congressional Democrats -- union members -- and in crucial states that cost them the presidential election, namely the Rust Belt.
Giving amnesty to the DACA people was already in the works, since the entire trend has been towards weaker immigration control than under Obama, reflecting both the Obama holdovers as well as the Bushie originals and the boarding party Bushies who now control the government.
The only question was, would Trump get anything in exchange? The Republicans sabotaged every move he made toward "America first", from foreign policy to immigration to trade. OK, no deals to be made there -- how about trying to get something good from the Democrats, who are in a weaker bargaining position than the Republicans?
Trump himself is in the weakest negotiating position any President has ever been in, since he does not have any history in politics -- no connections, no built up goodwill, no favors owed, no trust from the other politicians. Nor does he hail from one of the elite power factions that control society, like the military or the banks, who are the only groups outside the government itself that the politicians would take orders from.
Nobody in government faces consequences from not carrying out his orders, so they are free to either ignore him or outright sabotage him. And that's exactly what we've seen so far.
Since Trump is in no position to dictate terms, he will have to give more at the negotiating table -- being the one who invites the other party, asking them what they're willing to do rather than repeatedly threatening to walk, and making larger and longer-lasting up-front concessions.
Still, he wouldn't be dealing with them if he wasn't getting anything at all -- and he knows that more phony "border security" isn't going to accomplish anything on immigration. But if he gets their help on trade, where the GOP is resolutely opposed, that could at least amount to something.
With no effective authority inside Washington, and therefore having to surrender on the nationalist front, at least for now, Trump faces the choice of which wing of the victorious open borders army to sign a peace treaty with. It's either "amnesty in exchange for more wars in the Middle East and Afghanistan," or "amnesty in exchange for a potential trade war against China or Mexico".
It is the opposite of 4-D chess -- it's called trying to make the best of a bad situation, where you have no power and are at the mercy of two groups who hate your guts, but who you may be able to play off against each other to receive relatively less harmful treatment.
The junta controlling the White House has been sent by the Pentagon, not Wall Street. At least the Democrat leaders do not represent the faction that has held Trump hostage since April. He can work with them more freely, in a quid pro quo fashion, whereas his own party's factions have escalated a military takeover almost since he took office.
We still don't know whether anything concrete was agreed to on trade, let alone if the Democrats would actually honor their word after wringing amnesty for the DACA people, and then some, out of the immigration hardliner President.
But it sure as hell beats the alternative of trying to get anything good from the Republican side of the aisle in the inevitable amnesty of the DACA group.